A biomass boiler system uses biomass to generate heat and power which can be used for various boiling functions. There exist about four types of biomass heating systems that use biomass to heat a boiler. They include the pellet fired system, the fully automated system; semi-automated system and the combined heat and power system. The use of biomass boilers is now increasing, as the energy produced is renewable. The biomass boilers are the best alternatives to oil or gas boilers which are less in use these days due to the advantages that a biomass boiler gives.
Combined heat and power system
The combined heat and power system use wood waste like wood chips to produce power and heat as a byproduct. Due to the high pressure generation their cost is relatively high and it is mandatory to have a qualified operator to necessitate operation of this system. The use of the system is more convenient in places where both heat and power are required like hospitals and wood product manufacturers.
Fully automated system
The fully automated system uses ground up or chipped waste wood to operate. The wood waste is delivered to a storage tank from which the conveyors transport the waste into the boiler at controlled rates. The system goes on and off automatically hence maintaining the temperatures and pressure produced during the operation. The use of the fully automated system is more effective as it only requires an operator of the computer that manages the system.
The semi-automated system is similar to the fully automated system however it saves the extra man-power required to run it. This system has lesser capacity tanks and a simpler conveyor system that requires more personnel to control it.
Pellet fired system
The pellet fired system uses pellets, which are a processed form of wood to operate the system. Pellets are moved to the boiler, from their storage silos by gravity. Even though the pellets are expensive to purchase, they are efficient and they require less storage space because of their condensed nature and hence cut the costs on storage equipment. This system can be used for various facilities but they are more convenient for limited storage space and places where there are limited conveyor systems.
Pyrot Biomass Boiler System from Ventek Energy Systems
Advantages of biomass boiler systems
The advantages of a biomass system are mentioned below:
One of the benefits of using biomass boiler as compared to oil or gas boiler is the cost and availability. The use of wood chips is relatively low and even though its energy density is low, it can be used with an automatic feed on a 24 hour basis system. In large scale use, it is considered the most economical fuel type as wood wastes can be converted into useful wood chips for the operations of the biomass systems as the international fuel prices increases rarely affect the wood fuel prices. On the issue of availability, the wood waste do not necessarily required to be imported into any country as majority of countries make use of wood in different ways and hence the wood wastes are readily available in most cases.
Another advantage of using biomass boiler system is that the system makes use of the industrial or urban forest and agricultural wastes and residues to produce electricity and heat with very limited negative effect on the environment. The carbon that exists in the biomass is a part of the natural carbon cycle and hence it produces very little effect on the environment as it does not in any way add up to the natural existing carbon like the oil and gas boilers do. The use of bio fuels enhances the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. The bio fuels also help manage wood wastes that could otherwise clog the environment.
Pyrotec Biomass Boiler System from Ventek Energy Systems
Another advantage of using wood waste fuels is that it can be used in any home provided the following are in place. That one has space for the storage of the wastes, one can comply with few building and safety regulations, one has appliances that will support the operations of the system and finally one has planning permission to use the wood waste. Many of these conditions are easy to achieve and hence, if one is willing to have that cost effective, available and renewable energy source, he will be able to submit to the conditions provided.